Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A word on airports, part 1

Travelling between Australia and the UK (relatively regularly) you have the pleasure of visiting quite a lot of airports. Different carriers use obviously use different hubs, and this time I flew with Emirates. So I thought I’d relate here the differences between some of the airports I noticed on this most recent trip. Obviously my first one was my point of departure; Melbourne Airport.

Melbourne Airport – My first impression of Melbourne airport in the mid nineties made me think, well, it wasn’t really going to give Heathrow a run for it’s money in the ‘modern’ department. The arrivals hall was really basic, with just a small painted wooden screen separating the new arrivals from the waiting family/friends/chauffeurs. Everything had a tatty air to it. It had a car park that was no better than the average supermarket’s. Now though, after extensive redevelopment the whole place actually matched the style of the rest of the city. The arrivals hall has been dragged into the twenty first century, gone is the chipped wood replaced by cut bluestone walls and a more airy atmosphere. There is now a large piece of artwork on the wall so the families/friends/chauffeurs can stare blankly at something other than arrivals board. Even the car park has been enlarged with a number of stories added.

However I have one major issue. When I had passed through immigration and found myself waiting for my flight’s allotted take off time I was planning on spending my last few minutes on the ground having a quite drink. A handy place to do this in Melbourne airport was TGI Fridays which had an outlet near the departure gates. I discovered on this trip though that TGI Fridays has gone, in it’s place was now another duty free outlet. Nearby was what seemed to be to be a hastily put together little bar that sold nothing but bottled beer and pre mixed drinks in a can. Not being a fan of cheap spirits in a can with no name cola (and not fancying a bloating beer) I found that any choice had been removed from my hands in the matter of pre flight drinks and that didn’t make me happy. The bottom line is if you need a small (or large) pre flight nerve calmer – get it prior to going through immigration when in Melbourne...

Next post - Singapore airport.

Monday, September 25, 2006

An Unexpected Trip...

Is anybody there, or do I return to an abandoned blog? Well I expect it is the latter, but that will not stop me from making my excuses. I have recently experienced an unexpected absence from Australia. A short notice trip home to England has necessitated a lack of entries on my blog. Why didn't I blog in England? Well they don't have the internet there you see... OK, I found that I was doing so much interesting stuff whilst there that blogging was, I am ashamed to say, quite a long way down my list of things to do. Perhaps you can draw from this the kind of commitment levels I have to the blogosphere. But trust me - you would have done the same in my position. However I am now returned to antipodean shores so it's time to reopen the Sanctuary.

Actually I have something else to add. My last entry was on the 23rd of June and to be honest I haven't been overseas for a whole three months, in fact my trip took up only a small amount of that time, so I am even less committed to blogging than you thought I was. There it is said, and my head is now hanging so far down in shame I cannot see exactly what keys I am prwessindg (I can't touch type. Wish I could but I can't).

It's amazing how quickly you can get used to not working and actually enjoying your life. I never find it is long before I begin to take the fact I can do what I want when I want, for granted. But I always find holidays make coming back to work almost impossible. It's only then you realise that the majority of your waking life is spent doing things that you don't want to do, and you are being kept from the things you want to do by the ever present spectre of things like, well let me see, starvation or exposure due to the fact you will find yourself on the streets because you lack an income.

That's enough of the self pitying waffle; excuse me whilst I adopt a more positive attitude.


There, that’s better. Let me begin again - this time with some pictures I snapped in London,

The Millenium Bridge with St. Pauls to the north across the Thames

Well maybe just this one then. I would upload more, but Blogger has decided it doesn't want to play anymore and two images per post is enough for now, but trust me when I say I took more than one photo during the trip... About 800 more...